Can Slowing Down Make You Happier? More Productive?

9 May 2018

It seems as if many of us are in a rush these days. We’re obsessed with hurrying to get to work, hurrying through traffic, hurrying to get to the grocery store, hurrying to get to our next appointment, and hurrying to talk or text on our telephones – you get the picture.

Many of us are also in a hurry to get our work done on a daily basis. We seem to be spending a lot of time rushing. Is it really getting us where we want to be?

Perhaps we need to stop the glorification of “busy.” When we rush through tasks, instead of tackling them thoroughly and deeply, we can sometimes find ourselves doing less than our very best work. Some of us seem to be fearful we will miss out on something (FOMO – fear of missing out), so we have pop-up notifications, text messages, and other forms of distraction. We sometimes read around these distractions, which can prevent us from really understanding and absorbing what we are reading about.

About a month ago, I started taking yoga classes. To me, yoga is the opposite of rushing. Every move, every action, is to be attempted with measure and mindfulness.

Does this unhurried approach have anything to bring to our daily lives? I think it does. Bringing measure and mindfulness to our work – slowing down, and being purposeful – may indeed improve the quality of our work, as well as the quality of our lives overall.

“You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life, for hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our world today” – Dr. Dallas Willard

Working thoroughly and mindfully, from a rested and tranquil place, may produce a better work-product than hastening through one task after another. It’s personalizing to your work, both with respect to the project one is working on, as well as for self-fulfillment and enjoyment. Mindfulness also applies to your personal life. Have you ever tried rushing through washing a dirty car? It doesn’t work very well, does it?

Resisting the temptation to rush – and it’s a huge temptation – can enhance your work, and your daily experience of life.

It’s worth trying.